Kia stunned all of us by launching a GT sedan that is unlike anything the automaker has ever offered. The automaker dubs it the “highest-performance” production model in the company’s history. Unlike its other mass-produced models that offer little excitement, the 2018 Kia GT Stinger offers a sporty profile and a sportscar like performance behind the wheel. GT stands for Gran Turismo, which refers to a fat, luxurious and nimble automobile. Read along for more information.
2018 Kia GT Stinger Exterior
The new design is like nothing you have seen from Kia. The sedan features a fastback roofline that gives the model a dose of elegance. At the front, the GT Stinger retains Kia’s usual tiger-nose grille design. The grille uses lots of chrome trim like Mercedes does with its models. Below the grille is a gaping bumper opening. Slim LED headlights flank the grille. On the other hand, the engine hood is long and features two vents.
On the sides, you will easily notice its 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in performance tires. These wheels fill up the wheel wells. 19-inch wheels wrapped in ultra-high-performance tires are offered as an option. The GT Stinger also features recessed door contours and chrome window trim along its arcing roofline. Side character lines highlight its flowing length. The rear door corners intentionally intersect with the rear hatch’s shut line resulting in an attractive design.
At the rear, the model features a black diffuser with quad exhaust tips. The rear also features triangular-shaped taillights. It reminds me of the Maserati GranTurismo coupe.
Other exterior highlights include its long wheelbase, a short front overhang, wide track, long rear overhang, and bold haunches that make the sedan look quite attractive. In fact, it looks more of a coupe than a sedan.
2018 Kia GT Stinger Interior
Not only has Kia hooked up the sedan with an attractive exterior profile, the interior too is breathtaking. It features an attractive dashboard design that hosts a 7-inch touch-screen. There is another screen on the instrument cluster for displaying information on the vehicle’s lap times and cornering. Huge metal-ringed gauges flank the instrument cluster. Other features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a wireless charging device.
Audiophiles get their thrill from a 15-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system with subwoofers tucked under the front seats.
The model offers a roomy cabin courtesy of a long wheelbase, longer length and wider width compared to other GT models in this segment. This translates to a spacious cabin for passengers and greater cargo space compared to rival models. In fact, it will provide segment-leading legroom. It accommodates five passengers. Front seats are bolstered. The seats are wrapped in genuine leather; premium Nappa leather is offered as an option.
Engine specs and performance
Kia has mounted the GT’s engine on the extreme rear of the engine bay to balance and distribute weight optimally. The engine I am talking about is a 2.0 L, turbocharged 4-cylinder, which produces 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque from as low as 1,400 rpm. Kia also offers another more powerful mill as an option. It is a 3.3 L, twin-turbocharged V-6 that is capable of generating 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque from 1,300 rpm. This engine powers the model to dash from 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds. It will have a top speed of 167 mph.
The engines will be paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission that conveys power to the rear wheels via a mechanically limited-slip differential. All-wheel is optional. The AWD system works like Audi’s Quattro system where power is normally distributed to the rear wheels and apportioned to the front wheels when necessary. This system also adds dynamic torque vectoring. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel help the driver to exercise manual control over gear changes.
Kia also offers selectable driving modes (Personal, Sport, Eco, Comfort and Smart) which help adjust the vehicles steering effort, engine calibration, response as well as suspension tuning.
Price and release date
The model was showcased to the public during the recent International Auto show held at Detroit. The model is still months away from making a sales debut; I hope it will hit dealerships before the year ends. The automaker remained coy about its prices but considering how handsomely the model is equipped, I expect its price to start at around $35,000 and go all the way to $50,000 for fully equipped higher trims.